65 million people are living with an incurable STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) in the United States. This is an extremely high number which includes many different types and forms of diseases. Some are curable and others are not. So this is a huge problem in the USA and all over the world that I had no idea about or put much thought into. It is incredible the outstanding number of people with STI’s and the growing rate. This truly is in every sense of the word a pandemic as referred to in the book.
I will discuss a few things from this chapter about STI’s that I found most interesting besides the STI’s themselves that almost made me hurl due to some of the graphic pictures. Some issues that are related and need to be learned include the lack of symptoms, lack of accurate information, unhealthy sexual emotions and attitudes, poor sexual communication, and substance abuse and its relation to STI’s. All of the above mentioned things I will discuss are important to me because they are risk factors that I needed to learn and be aware of.
For example, not all STI’s have symptoms or show signs of physical problems such as rashes or a discharge. Most sexual transmitted infections have symptoms that are often absent. That is scary due to the fact people may not know they are infected and maintain their normal sexual activity with no knowledge of infecting others. This is a huge problem to me because it’s not like people carry their results with them of their last STI test results. In my case I get tested in 3 days due to the fact ignorance is bliss and I don’t want to be irresponsible in my actions.
I also think that some people don’t get tested for the mere fact they just don’t want to know even if they have been involved in risky sexual behaviors. Asymptomatic means that symptoms may not be produced at all. Not know if you are infected and affecting others leads to a bigger problem because most STI’s leads to greater health problems down the road. A sexual act of of love or lust can turn into a nightmare. Lack of knowledge is a huge risk factor because the number of our youth participating in sexual activities is indeed increasing. They partake in oral sex and think it is ok because pregnancy can’t occur.
However, being one of these ignorant kids’ years ago myself I didn’t know that oral sex increases the chances of STI’s or what an STI was. Especially, these hormone and sexually driven kids don’t care or have the knowledge of knowing the ease at which STI’s can spread through sexual activity and oral sex, or even the lack of knowing how severe this problem can occur. I’ve heard a lot of my friends say oh man I just got tested after I hooked up with that slut and I’m clean, guess I dodged a bullet. It is a complete joke and the severity of these issues is not driven home properly.
Sexual emotions and attitudes are something I have learned to be true. I know a lot of girls who were told sex is bad by their parents and they seemed to take it out on their college exploits. Avoiding the safe sex talk and that sex is not a horrible thing when handled correctly can lead to better understanding and decision making by the child. Also, the the fear and stigma of people who have STI’s or don’t want to be tested for fear they might have one creates more issues for them and may lead to them not telling their partner out of shame and embarrassment.
This I thought I knew but this chapter justified that thought. I for sure learned that sexual communication is important for a healthy sexual relationship. It is healthy for my relationship and makes things more comfortable and easy. I learned that not just condoms and knowledge are important in preventing STI’s, but communication has an essential role as well. Parents must discuss safe sex with their children and openly discuss sexual matters due to the fact it is normal eventually inevitable. Talking to your partner about being tested or that you have an STI is the responsible thing to do.
I knew that substance abuse had to play a role in increasing the chances for the spread of STI’s. it only makes sense due to the fact we all know what it feels like to be under the consumption of alcohol where our morals and principles go at that point. Things become more in the moment as mentioned in the book and risky sexual behavior is more likely to occur. For example, I know a lot about this from attending San Diego State University a big party school in California, but the statistics provided in the book that 1 in 5 teens reports having unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs and lcohol just solidifies that theory. I learned a lot and was shocked about the STI pandemic and all the issues related such as the lack of information and health risks associated with it. This really does scare me to know that my previous partners could have unknowingly passed an STI to me. I was tested before my girlfriend and I started dating but I will get tested again in three days just to be sure. It is really important to do so and people should be made aware of the severity and problems related to STI’s followed by knowledge and prevention methods. I am thankful for this class and my newfound knowledge.
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